Skip to main content

Full text of "Rapid Population Growth Consequences And Policy Implications"

See other formats

food-population balance-and negatively-in the longer run. Rapid p growth could threaten the adequacy of the food supply after a perio 1980 or 1990.
At the least, there has now begun a period of perhaps 2 decac which providing a country's minimum food requirements will not r have the attributes of a daily crisis. But what is possible is by assured. Success with the new varieties depends on the ability of 1 obtain irrigation water, fertilizers, pesticides, seeds, farm tools, and < machinery, transportation, storage, and new knowledge. To be abl the necessary purchases, farmers will have to sell a fraction of tl This presupposes either considerable growth in domestic incomes, outside the agricultural sector-i.e., overall economic developme1 availability of export markets.
For food supplies in the long run, only the first alternative see
icant for the developing countries in general. A scramble among
port-oriented producers to supply the needs of similarly situated
vated countries is not likely to bring rewards to all. Nor, on the oth<
encroachment upon the markets of the traditional grain export
world, domestic or foreign, a likely prospect; and the markets for s
agricultural exports—sugar, coffee, tea, rubber, bananas, cocoa, jute
lar products—from the poor countries to the rich hold out few pr
sufficient growth. Some may even decline, particularly when they <.
able to substitution. In summary, although the technology is at r
large increase in agricultural production and farmers have demonsti
capacity for adopting it, there is a serious question whether the
economic conditions to sustain this trend may be attained or sustai
apart   from  troublesome social and political by-products  the  t
create—in human resources, social stability, and effects on the env
Increased agricultural productivity eventually results in lower ft
to the benefit of consumers. Over any decade, however, a consun,
necessarily becomes smaller per consumer when it is distributed a
rapidly increasing numbers of consumers produced by rapid populati<
There   are  also  questions  concerning whether  incomes  will
enough to absorb rapidly rising farm output, either directly or in t
livestock products; whether the lower prices needed for market-cl
tend to discourage the innovators; whether new government taxes
or income will dampen enthusiasm; or whether sufficient funds w:
able to continue the expansion of irrigated areas.
Some observers have conjectured that the capital investments f nomic development that must occur to sustain the agricultural t tion, both for needed inputs and markets, will require much lar inflows in the future. The Pearson Committee,* for example,